Partner at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP and Lead Co-Counsel for the Plaintiffs in Vergara v. California
Con to the question "Should Teachers Get Tenure?"
"Because of existing laws, some of the state's best teachers—including 'teachers of the year'—are routinely laid off because they lack seniority. In other cases, teachers convicted of heinous crimes receive generous payoffs to go away because school districts know that there is slim hope of dismissing them. California law makes such firings virtually impossible. The system is so irrational that it compels administrators to bestow ‘permanent employment'—lifetime tenure—on individuals before they even finish their new-teacher training program or receive teaching credentials.
As a result of this nonsensical regime, certain students get stuck with utterly incompetent or indifferent teachers, resulting in serious harm from which the students may never recover. Such arbitrary, counterproductive rules would never be tolerated in any other business. They should especially not be tolerated where children's futures are at stake.
There are many problems facing our education system, and there is no silver bullet that can fix them all at once. But there is no better place to begin than by removing senseless laws that devalue effective, inspiring teachers and hurt students."
"California Kids Go to Court to Demand a Good Education," online.wsj.com, Jan. 28, 2014